After a few years of hands-on design at the Fashion Institute of Technology—focusing on weaving, painting and screen-printing—most of my career has been spent on digital design, as well as collection styling and project management. I love design on the computer. Photoshop and Illustrator have become my go-to tools for creation. But after so much time spent clicking away on the mouse and Wacom tablet and screen, I am rediscovering the creative spark of rolling up my sleeves and making something. It’s good to get your hands dirty from time to time, and after a day of indigo dying in a friend’s back yard last year, I’ve gotten hooked.
Indigo dye folkways run deep. The committed craftsmanship of the dye-master, the artistry of Shibori…these are at once inspiring and petrifying. How to approach such a venerable craft as a beginner? Just have to jump in, and with beginner's mind learn and enjoy the process. I view these pieces as experiments: explorations that allow me to re-invent collected and beloved swatches and vintage linens, "sketches" that can serve as building blocks for digital design.
I like to play with simplified designs and techniques to allow modern motifs to come through. The juxtaposition of the organic, hand-dyed texture with simple borders, blocks and stripes creates a wonderful tension. I love to find old monogrammed and stitched linens that seem too formal for an everyday setting, give them a dip in blue, and use them with tonight's cocktail or Wednesday's dinner. Why not?